The Perfect “Match”

Elizabeth Pearl Corey, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Everybody’s looking for a little adventure in life. I mean, after all, what’s life without a little farce, a bit of pudding, and tons of laughter? The Matchmaker is a farce play in four acts based on the novel by Thornton Wilder. It was adapted into the (ridiculously charming) classic play, before evolving into its final form as the musical that everyone knows and loves… Hello, Dolly.

Horace Vandergelder (Chris Connor;Understudy: Aidan Kelly) is a grumpy old man who doesn’t want his niece, Ermengarde, lovingly nicknamed “Ermagerd,” (Gabby Sferlazza; U.S.: Leigh Corrado) to marry the love of her life, an artist named Ambrose Kemper (Anthony Orellana; U.S.: Michael Haggerty). Enter the titular *read this in a Southern Beau/Belle accent, even though this takes place in New York* Dolly Gallagher Levi (Leslie Sattler; U.S.: Terrilyn Brennan), who wants to help the two young lovers get approval from Uncle Horace, while she arranges Vandergelder’s own marriage: first to Mrs. Irene Molloy (Ashley Deschamps), the fiery hat-maker (“millineress”—not a wicked woman, at all!), then to the almost-20-something Ernestina Simple (a faux bride), on to (and secretly all along), at last, her own love-seeking, adventure-brewing, money-pining self. Throw in Vandergelder’s two clerks—the famous Cornelius Hackl (John Doty) and the troublemaker Barnaby Tucker (Vitale Yenzer)—who are looking for a fun time in the wild city and a pair of lovely girls to kiss; the cutesy, ditsy Minnie Fay (Samantha Keating; U.S.: Elizabeth Pearl Corey)—who knows “THERE’S A MAN!”; Malachi (Paul Lloyd), the suspiciously overrated every-employee; a cab-man with terrible advice (Danny Hernandez); a Cook (Abby Berge; U.S.: Molly McDonough) who puts up with the flighty, smelling-salts addicted Ms. Van Huysen (Jillian Sanders; U.S.: Kaitlyn Cavallo); Vandergelder’s barber (Aidan Kelly; U.S.: Chris Connor) (who’s had enough of his antics); the adorably confused Gertrude (Olivia Espinosa); a waiter who bursts into tears at everything (Julia Miller; U.S.: Shayden Bernas); and his snobby boss (Jordan Ohlenschlager), and you’ve got a good time! Who wouldn’t want to see a grumpy old man’s life fall apart and then come together again in the end, with his redemption in tow, while “everybody’s falling in love with everybody?”

The show teaches a lot of important lessons about adventure, love, money, and life in general, as it amuses and draws-in the audience. It’s full of timeless humor and classic, quotable lines. The best thing about the show, however, is the feeling of nostalgia and the sense of community and “a happy ending” that comes along with Act Four. Not to give too much away, but it’s an ending worth seeing, and one that will pull at your heartstrings until you’re left feeling happy and content, but also a little reminiscent, inside.

This year, the show was lucky enough to have two casts portray the memorable, and (mostly) lovable characters, courtesy of Director Mr. Beck’s idea for a Primary Cast and Understudy Cast show. The intrigue behind the idea was to give more people who auditioned the chance to be up on stage, and also to have two (equally charming and worthwhile) interpretations of Wilder’s classic characters and tale performed. Every show put on was done with everyone’s best effort, and each performance came out, daresay, professional and engrossing. If you’re lucky enough to see any live take on the show, however, definitely go watch it. The humor may be a little more old-fashioned—so a bit hard to grasp for those who prefer more modern entertainment—but the show has something to enjoy for everyone. If you want to check out the Primary Cast’s performance on Closing Night, head on over to Joe Hassett’s channel on YouTube (the link is provided on and enjoy the show.

Everyone in Playcrafters put everything they had into the show, and it turned out to be a real success. Cast, crew, and director really pulled through to put on a spectacular program, and it could not have been done without every single person who dedicated their time to The Matchmaker. I bet Thornton Wilder would have been pretty proud if he could see The Farmingdale High School’s Playcrafter’s production of his heart-and-soul-(and-mind)-child. To be completely honest, I’m extremely grateful to have been able to work with everyone in Playcrafter’s, and I know that this review was a little (more than) biased, but the show and everyone who took part in its happening really deserve it, and this experience means a lot to me. I’m going to miss being a part of this-something-great, a lot. Thank you, Playcrafters, and to those who saw the show and got to witness the story come to life: Thank you. Now, “there isn’t anymore coffee, there isn’t anymore gingerbread, and there isn’t anymore play, but…” “we all want to thank you,” and remember: “Have just the right amount of sitting at home and just the right amount of adventure.” And the curtains close…scene.

(P.S.: “Moo!”)    


* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license